Rare vintage racing Bugatti could fetch world record price

| Posted in Funny News |


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A Bugatti Type 51 race car in the 2007 ‘Grand Prix de l’?ge d’Or’ in the pitlane of Dijon-Prenois Photo: Akela NDE

The 79-year-old Type 51, which contested 17 European Grand Prix races, is considered one of the finest surviving of its kind, boasting its original bodywork, engine and gearbox.

It is set fetch $4.5m (£2.9m) in the sale at the Pebble Beach motoring week in Monterey this Saturday. That would be the highest price ever paid for a grand prix racing Bugatti.

It is being sold by the British private collector who paid the current world record sum for a Type 35 Bugatti two years ago, at £2.5m.

Along with other alternative investments, the collector car market has been boosted over the past year and a half as the wealthy move towards more tangible assets in the wake of the credit crunch.

Bugatti historian David Sewell said the latest sale, 1931-built chassis 51132, is “a remarkably complete and original car and there is no doubt to its authenticity.”

He said it “ranks among the finest survivors of the highly desirable Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix”.

The last time a Bugatti Type 51 came to auction, nearly ten years ago in 2001 it made in excess of £1m.

Dan Warrener, car specialist at RM Auctions, which is holding the sale, said: “Many of our clientele have been disgruntled with the anxiety caused by the wild fluctuations in the world stock markets, and while the past two years have demonstrated that ‘blue chip’ stocks can be reduced to zero, serious depreciation in rare car values has never happened.

“Rare collector cars, like fine art, have increased in value dramatically in the past decade. Many price records have been broken in the past two years, while more traditional investments have gone down.”

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